Dedicated To The Outdoors

Cougars In Your State

This post has been carried over from our forum which has since been removed from the site. We’ve pulled over the top 10 forum conversations that were not specific to future content areas which we will be posting.

Does anyone here have or hunt cougars in their state? They have claimed tim and time again that Michigan has no cougars even though sightings come from all over with strong evidence. It wasnt too long ago someone captured a cougar on video about a half hour from here and finally put the myth to rest.

My own cougar sighting was long ago but this cougar was pure black in color. I pled insanity to myself and didnt say anything for a while and then spilled the beans to a couple good friends. They of course gave me the high-brow and laffed. Funny how a sighting of a black cougar showed up in the local newspaper 2 weeks after I mentioned my sighting to a few friends. the second sighting was less than 1 mile from where I spotted it. I got the last laff that time.

Although that sighting was a ways from here some of the first, and most, sightings have come from the area around my cabin. I have never seen one or even tracks here. The area is surely dense enough for a cat to hide. the wolves make themselves pretty scarce here even though they are all over this area so why not a big cat? I just wonder how the two would get along with over-lapping territories.

Man thats a coincedence, I’ll go out on a limb and tell ya that a few years ago my dad and I were down in Kansas visiting some realtive. We left my Uncles house to go to my other uncles for the night. We were traveling an ol gravel road along coon creek. I crossed the road infront of us in the headlights and even though it was fast it was big, black in color and had a long tail. nearly at the same time we looked at each other and asked Did you see that. Dad has always claimed it to be a black panther.

On an entirely different trip same senario along the same creek in daylight one crossed the road and although I wasn’t paying attention his voice exclaiming cougar got it qucik enough to see the back end of it dissapear up into the trees.

then there was a cougar dead on the road early this spring out by my dads farm. by the time he returned with a camera it was gone. neighbors saw it lying there to but niether know where it went. A car must of hit it as there was blood there on the hiway and black marks from skidding tires. sure dissapeared quick. I’ve past roadkill deer left there for a week or more.

This topic has always interested me primarily for the fact that the DNR says there’s no hard evidence to the prospects of a cougar population in Michigan. I was able to dig up this most recent information concerning cougars making a comeback in the more eastern states.

There hadnt been a cougar officially documented since 1904 until recent scat analysis turned up conclusive DNA from a cougar.

It was debated strongly whether cougars were in this area or not using the rivers and valleys to move through this region. A farmer shot and killed a cougar last year in Ireton Iowa putting an end to the debate. Further north near the Iowa-Minnesota border a sherriff videotaped a cougar. Minnesota officials then proclaim that “we’re fairly confident there is a wild population of cougars out there.” Ya Think?

In 1997 just south of Mesick, Christi Hillaker caught a cougar on videotape as it walked through her yard. Seven scat samples also have tested conclusive for cougar DNA. However, the Michigan DNR claims there is no evidence and shows no desire to review the scat findings. What more do they need? You have DNA and a videotape not to mention hundreds of reports!!!

New York City
New York officials wont admit there are cougars in the Adirondacks because they are listed as endangered in the East. What this means, and this could well be true for other states in denial, is that once confirmed the officials need to spend money to study them. They need to do enviromental impacts which pit enviromentalists against landowners.

Cougar Tidbit
What impact do cougars have on deer? The most common and accepted answer is that cougars kill one deer per week. A cougar has been known to kill more often in warmer climates because of the meat spoiling in the warmer temperatures. In some of the cooler areas the same problem occurs as the cougar kills more because the wolves are stealing the cougars kills.

Cougar Habitat
The cougars habitat can range dramtically. Take for instance the arid temps in California where officials state that cougars have saturated this region estimating between 4,000 to 6,000 animals. Move further East and the temps and terrain change dramatically. Cougars are very adaptable and also opportunistic. They do not rely on big game for survival. they’ll eat whatever comes along including porcupines, dogs, even the occassional human.

Take this piece of information for what its worth. When a cougar rears a litter of kittens they are welcome until they reach the age of 18 months old. This is when they are chased off. Young females look for nearby territories but the males practically run for their lives because if the dominant cougar in any area catches them, he’ll kill them.

Doesnt it makes sense that the current population of cougars that is documented as far east as Texas would sooner or later begin to make its way to the deep woods of the East?

Real recently they had a wild cougar show up in Omaha.
it is now in the Henery Dorley Zoo.

Bo D
That report that cougars eat on an average one deer per week is stretching it a bit. Just stop and think about it for a minute. If there was between 4ooo and 6000 cougars in Cal. and say we use 5000 of them as an example, that would be 250,000 deer a year killed by these animals. If that was so, how long would you expect the deer population to last.

And that’s not counting the ones killed by hunters, automobiles, etc. It’s just not right. We’ve had this discussion before…

I think the estimate of how many cougars are actually in California is high to begin with. The study also stated that there is no way to tell for sure accurately and a 2000 animal count variance sounds like a lot to me.

Personally I think cougars would kill one deer per week if they could but that would more than likely be under ideal conditions. My own meager estimate would suggest that smaller animals such as rabbits, gamebirds, wild pigs, etc, make up a good portion of their diet in the absence of larger game.

We have quite a number of cougar here in Washington. Since the law was passed several years ago banning hunting them with dogs they have increased in numbers.

Here is a pix from my game cam last fall. A nice large male.